Creativity with School :)

Something I did with my kids today during science, (we are doing Exploring Creation With Botany by Apologia):

me: “okay, so for this section, ‘Thirsty Trees,’ I want you to take a drink of water every time I say water or drink or thirsty.”

 

result: much more sips than my daughter’s mouth could hold…hee hee hee.
interesting fact: most trees transpire – that means, put back in the air – around 90% of the water they take in.

 

correlation: My daughter ended up giggling…and transpiring 90% of her water.

 

But I’m pretty sure she’ll remember the lesson on Thirsty Trees.

For everything there is a season

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washington dc, 2012 in the fall

Seasons and times. Hmm. Life is quite full of those, isn’t it? It’s been a really odd start to fall here in Germany…at least I imagine so, that this is unusual. It’s middle of October, and we were out today in t-shirts, sweating and enjoying the sunshine. But what is usual? what is normal? How is normality defined in our lives when each life is so different and unpredictable? It makes me think of Ecclesiastes where Solomon says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” because it’s true, even though our lives are so different from each other, we each have those things that Solomon writes about in chapter 3 of his ‘thinking’ book: laughter, sadness, being born, death, breaking down and building up, gaining, losing….all these things he mentions we all experience. It’s probably at very different times in our lives, but we can probably all say we have had some level of every ‘season’ he mentions in that chapter. And as I get older, I can say even more so that yes, I have experienced each season┬áhe talks about.

my uncle’s property, south carolina, summer

DSCN0028Sometimes, I have trouble with wanting the next season to hurry up and get here. I am honestly not a very big winter person. I like the snow enough, but I want the sun and warmth a lot sooner than it usually comes. So I find myself looking too far ahead instead of appreciating what’s going on at the time in that particular moment of weather. Or I’m dreading the fact that winter is coming because I see all the leaves changing and the weather getting that crisp fall feeling. And then I forget to enjoy what’s going on at that time, and the beauty of the season I happen to be in at the moment. And the same can be true with life; I sometimes find myself trying to look ahead and see what will be going on or worrying about the future, and missing out on what’s happening right now.

 

 

Do you find yourself doing that too ever? Are the moments of now passing by without you seeing what’s happening, and appreciating the events in your life in the present for what God is doing at this time?

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north carolina beach, july

Maybe another way to understand embracing what’s happening right now is to think of it as picture taking. Like seasons, the moment that you want to capture comes and goes. It is not meant to be permanent, it is changing right before your eyes. But we can misuse photos just like we end up treating seasons the wrong way. If you are not living in that time frame you just snapped a photo of, then the capturing of the moment means nothing. Sure, you checked the block, did the task, got photos of the kids playing in the sprinkler, set foot on the Eiffel Tower, drove through Italy, had a great family get together, or went to the Empire State Building. But did you take in the moment? Or did you just snap away and move on? Continue reading

Celebrating Yum Kippur (please forgive my unethical approach)

My son is taking a Jewish Holidays class as part of our extra curricular school stuff. And as a family, we’ve done a type of celebration of our own for one Jewish holiday, Passover. As a person who believes in Jesus, the Messiah, these types of feasts found in the Bible are really neat to celebrate and recognize together. Now, we don’t do everything right. But we are learning – and learning with food, song, and candlelight.

So we were behind on celebrating the Feast of Trumpets – but today, my son and I set the table at 11am with a table cloth, pretty dishes, apples and honey. And we read from Genesis 12 and 1 Samuel 1-2 and talked about the meaning of the apples and honey and the Feast of Trumpets (go here for a good website to tell you how to celebrate this feast). For our ‘casting off’ I had us each go around the table and ‘clear the air’ for any unforgiven squabbles between family members. We finished up with a song. And then I realized that today is Yum Kippur, the Day of Atonement (see a site on celebrating as a christian here)! So we decided to have a shortened fast and think about things we needed to ask God to forgive us for until we would break the fast this evening (I know, not technically correct, remember I said please forgive me for my unethical approach ­čÖé ).

It was a good experience…and it meant more to my children than I thought it would. When we got together that evening to pray and break our fast with communion, the kids both shared from their heart what it felt like to fast and think about things they needed to say sorry for; we prayed, had communion, and sang a song. And next year, I plan on doing a better job at preparing to do these traditions the right way. But even today, it was special to us. And we learned something, and we’ve started a tradition that isn’t just for tradition’s sake, but because it helps us understand God’s story better.